On the Road Less Traveled

On the Road Less Traveled

A stream of earth dashes right next to me, much too fast to even distinguish the dirt and plants that compose it. I raise my gaze and the ground begins to slow down, incrementally decelerating until I reach the mountains in the far distance that gently inch their way past me. I imagine them as old majestic creatures calmly walking on the road less traveled.

The sun caresses the right side of my face, while the rocking of the wind and the sound of speed entice me to close my eyes and go back to sleep. I even seem to notice a sign that reads “Zzyzx Rd.” If I did not know any better, I would think that I was being welcomed to sleepy town.

I blaze through the desert as fast as this behemoth and it’s conductor allow us to, but I remain stagnant, peaceful, only moving my fingers but to type these words. I find the comfort in the quiet, most of us aboard do. Silence. Then I hear someone yawn, perhaps they will join the half of the passengers who have elected to nap – I certainly considered it.

Mr. Ramdolfi typing these thoughts while on the road.

I look around me. I look through the windows at the vast nothingness around me, and I feel, inspired by nature. It’s incredible. To think that there was a time when this was it. I attempt to fathom life in the great outdoors before the invention of, well, doors. It sounds grand; daunting, harsh, and likely uncomfortable, but grand.

It is moments like this that allow me to step back and acknowledge that we are all one people with a single ancestry, divided only by our own constructs. We are just one of many species that has cohabited with the rest since we first set foot on this land. Most impressive of all, we have gone from nothingness to today. If only the hunter-gatherers of yesterday that roamed the same grounds where a McDonald’s is now open for business could see what securing food in today’s society looks like.

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I find it interesting how it takes stepping out of the known to see the bigger picture. The monotony of daily life combined with the city grind generally encapsulate me in a specific mindset, one that I openly enjoy, but one that occasionally restricts my ability to think beyond the parameters of my routine. This, this is different.

This is traveling, specifically, this is the journey within traveling. While I always look forward to the destination, there is something special about the journey. I believe it is the same reason why so many of us enjoy going for a drive without a set path. It’s delightful, almost therapeutic. For these reasons, I am happy to be on the road.

Tell me, do you enjoy road trips? Do you prefer the city or nature? For you, is traveling about the journey, or the destination?

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(Featured Image by: Sebastian Palomino)

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

Story time! A few years ago I left my native Los Angeles to move to New York. Most people would probably love that opportunity; in fact, most people would likely jump on that boat in a heartbeat. I however, reluctantly accepted a job in Manhattan, took a one-way flight, and started a new life in the East Coast.

Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps, I quickly realized that I hated it. Not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity, but it is known that Angelinos tend to hate New York, and New Yorkers tend to hate Los Angeles. Having had lived long enough in both cities, I can absolutely understand why, the lifestyles are vastly different. But that’s a story for another time.

So there I was, a young urban professional in the city that people would kill to be in — and all I wanted to do was leave. Sure, I wanted to make things work, but I was also ready to move back to LA in an instant. With that in mind, I sat down to think, why do people want to move to New York?

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It was a serious question. I had never had any desire to even visit New York, let alone move there. So why then, are so many people obsessed with that city? I thought that if I could answer that question, I could take advantage of my stay for as long as it lasted. Google search after google search, I began to learn just how much New York had to offer. That’s when I realized how ignorant I really was. Museums, parks, landmarks, cuisine, and of course, Broadway. New York had it all — except for Walmart.

Equipped with a new mindset, I set out to make the most of my time in New York. It was challenging at first, specially given my socioeconomic status at the time — I did not know anyone and I could barely afford to eat. But with perseverance and some resourcefulness, I quickly turned things around. I could write a book about my years in New York, but for now I’ll just say that: I set myself the goal of going to Broadway once a month for as long as I lived in New York (after all, I thought I may only be there for a month or two); I saw over 40 Broadway musicals and plays.

I loved New York. I still do! I just don’t live there anymore. But that mentality of taking advantage of my stay because it may not last forever, truly enabled me to make the most of my time in New York.

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By contrast, at some point along the way I realized that prior to New York, I had missed out on all of the fun things to do in LA — because I took it for granted. At the time, I thought that since I was not a tourist, I would always have access to everything LA has to offer. But then suddenly, I didn’t.

Thankfully, the love of my life brought me back to the best coast, I mean, West Coast. Now, I intend to utilize the lesson I learned in New York here in Los Angeles, which effectively boils down to one thing — to live my best life. As such, I look forward to all of the touristy LA things that people come to the city of angels for and more.

Tell me, would you be interested in learning what are the best things to do in LA? Perhaps the best things to do in LA for couples? Or maybe even the best things to do in LA for locals?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Igorelick)

Sanuki No Sato Japanese Restaurant

Sanuki No Sato Japanese Restaurant

This week my entire team at the office was treated to lunch at a Japanese restaurant near Torrance, CA. The reason? Our boss was in town! The details are complicated, but the bottom line is that he is a multinational manager who spends most of his time abroad. In fact, I have been working at my startup for almost 5 months, and just now am I meeting our boss — well, my boss’ boss’ boss to be precise.

We went to Sanuki No Sato, an authentic Japanese restaurant where we had the privilege to dine in a private room for which we were required to take off our shoes. We entered the room by stepping over the raised platform that would become our seats. I had never had a dining experience like this. It was comfortable, relaxing, and intimate. It was different, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I especially enjoyed the food — I ordered the Sashimi, which I only even recognized from an episode of Master Chef I had recently watched. It was delicious!

It has been a fantastic few days at work lately! First I received my first present at work, and now I get treated out for lunch! Like most people in the workforce, I am faced with negatives every day, perhaps more so given the nature of my job, and yet my outlook addresses most of these. However, it is nice to have true positives every once in a while.

Tell me, what is the latest positive in your life? Do you eat out for lunch often, or do you pack your own meals? Have you ever tried sashimi?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Comfortable With Change

Comfortable With Change

Said no one ever — not truthful at least. I hear you in the front row, yes, you with the unwavering confidence of youth. I see the refutation in your eyes, and I politely ask you to hear me out first.

I know what you’re thinking, “I can take on any challenge. Nothing can stop me. Bring it!” And maybe that’s true, but it does not mean it will be smooth sailing. In fact, it more than likely won’t be, and that’s because of the unfamiliar, the unforeseeable, and the curve balls that come out of nowhere — change.

As humans, we yearn for homeostasis, our bodies literally react to our environments (against our wills) to reach a state of comfort. This is one of the few things I remember from my science courses in undergrad, but it does not take a degree to acknowledge that if it’s too hot we seek shade, it it’s too cold we seek shelter, and if it’s too different, we seek the known. That is to say, as humans, we reject change.

We naturally gravitate to the comfortable, that which does not challenge us, but rather keeps us in a metaphorical room from which stepping out of is tedious at best, and nearly impossible at worst. This is our comfort zone.

“Change is the only constant in life.”

Heraclitus

For all that we do, consciously and subconsciously to remain in this comfort zone by avoiding change, our efforts are futile. That is because, if there is one guarantee in this life besides death, it is that sooner or later we will face some degree of change — ironically, it is the only constant in life.

Think about it. Growing up every year you experienced different teachers, different subjects, and likely different classmates. If your family moved, you had different homes. Eventually you move out of your parents’ home, join the workforce, and if you’re lucky, you find someone who you get to build a family with — your life is filled with changes.

So why then, resist it? Why not expect it and welcome it with open arms? Why not embrace it? To that end, returning to the young soul in the front row, I am here to tell you that you’re right. You can accomplish your goals. You can overcome that adversity. You can do it. I just want you to know one thing.

It won’t be easy, nothing in life worth doing ever has been. Whatever goal you may have, whether it be getting in shape, climbing out of a hole, or even meeting new people, it will require change — and thus discomfort. And there may be times when it will feel like too much, when you will want to give up, when you will want to return to your comfort zone. It is then, when you will need to remember that, there will always be change, and it may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it.

Tell me, how do you feel about change? Do you resist it, or do you embrace it? When was the last time you faced it, and how did you approach it?

(Featured Image by: Kristian Design)

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk

This weekend we had the opportunity to relax. For the first time in over a year, we had a weekend where we were not thinking about the wedding. It’s crazy for us to think that wedding planning will no longer be a part of our daily routine. We asked ourselves, what are we going to do with so much time on our hands? The answer was naturally adventures, starting with a date at Universal CityWalk.

Universal CityWalk is an outdoor shopping center that leads you into Universal Studios. The best part, you do not have to purchase ticket to Universal to enjoy CityWalk. It’s like Downtown Disney (or Disney Springs in Disney World). It’s also the main setting for Justin Bieber’s “Baby” music video — just a fun fact.

On a bright note, the sun was out today! It was a nice reminder that summer is in full swing. However, that also meant that taking pictures was somewhat challenging. It was either glaring sun or darkness of shade — either requiring sunglasses. There was no in between, so we took a couple of different shots.

After briefly taking in the sights and some sun, we went straight to CityWalk’s signature theater, Universal Cinema AMC, to catch a showing of Avengers Endgame‘s MCU successor, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Tell me, have you ever been to CityWalk? Where should we go on our next adventure? When you were “thirteen, did you have your first love, [that] woke you up daily, don’t need no Starbucks?”

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Drive Through Car Wash

Drive Through Car Wash

With all of the wedding planning throughout the past few weeks, we may have neglected some domestic upkeep, including the car. Now that we are getting back on track, we drove to a much needed car wash.

As a quick side note, I used to love these as a child! I always found them to be exciting for some reason. I think my youthful imagination turned a car wash into a space adventure. Even now, I can kind of see the soap resembling stars, the rotating brushes simulating light speed, and the rinse off being condensation from an unexplored foreign atmosphere — I guess I still have some imagination.

The Ramdolfis enjoying a space adventure together

It may not be the most interesting adventure thus far, but it does highlight an important aspect of the LA lifestyle, everyone drives. Perhaps more people would take public transportation if there was a better infrastructure in place, which is not built because people drive. It’s a vicious cycle, one that I believe the electric vehicle revolution will address.

The impeccably clean Ramdolfi-mobile

In the meantime, we compromise with our hybrid Prius — our squeaky clean Prius. At 50+ miles per gallon, it is a great vehicle! At least until the day we can afford a Tesla, someday.

Tell me, do you prefer to drive or take public transportation? Do you have options where you live, or are you limited like us Angelinos? How often do you wash you car?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Hilary Halliwell)

The Bachelor Party: Johnny Rockets

The Bachelor Party: Johnny Rockets

On our way toward the last uber of the night, we stumbled upon a Johnny Rockets that would become the last stop of the night — the final chapter of our bachelor party saga. Why? Because, what better way to wrap up an epic night of libations, libations, sustenance, and libations, than with, libations!? More innocent libations this time: Milkshakes!

It was the middle of the night and we were among the only customers in this signature 1950’s-themed restaurant. Exhausted and technically under the influence, we ordered milkshakes and fries. We reminisced, conversed, and then rested in the comfort of silence. It was a moment of bliss that concluded the last night out with the gents — as a bachelor.

We took our shakes to-go, and descended onto the Walk of Fame to hail our ride. It occurs to me that there I stood, on a Los Angeles landmark, and at that moment it meant nothing to me. It was the gents by my side that meant, everything. We could have spent the entire night at my apartment and it would have still been the best of bachelor parties — because I have the best of friends. That, is what truly made this night, legendary.

Tell me, where would you go for your bachelor party? Would you rather indulge in the staples or think outside the box? What matters more to you, the destination, or the people with whom you share the adventure?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)